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Big Shoulders Coffee

Restaurants, Coffee shops River West/West Town
5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)

Tim Coonan, a 15-year home roaster, marries the efficiency of second-wave coffee (e.g., Starbucks) with the clean design and small-scale ethos of the third wave (e.g., Intelligentsia) at this corner coffee bar. He caters to Blue Line commuters with $2 “fast coffee” (available in a self-serve drip machine) and to laptop lingerers with “slow coffee” (pour-over) and espresso drinks (plus a spartan few pastries from Cheap Tart Bakery). Fast or slow, every cup in the sunny, minimalist setting is made from beans Coonan roasts on site.


Venue name: Big Shoulders Coffee
Address: 1105 W Chicago Ave
Cross street: between Milwaukee Ave and May St
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 6am–7pm; Sat, Sun 7:30am–5pm
Transport: El stop: Blue to Chicago. Bus: 56, 66.
Price: Average cup of coffee: $2
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Friendly place to visit....there are always surprises waiting with the coffee exoerience at Big Shoulders.


With its unassuming decor and friendly service, Big Shoulders coffee provides a solid microroasted cup of Joe or fancy latte. Beans are roasted in house and pour overs are available if you're taking your time. Right next to the Chicago blue line stop, commuters can quickly get their morning energy. You can also take a seat and blog or study as the spot is pretty tame and quiet. It's small though so don't squat all day. I've tried their bagged coffee at home as well as sampling a S'Mores latte with a toasted marshmallow melting on top.